Beautiful lighting promotes a feeling of safety, care, and identity. The Queens Parking Garage and Community Space east façade provides a large-scale canvas for illumination.
In 2021, clients and designers determined that the parking garage’s massive façade would contribute a vibrant moment for vehicular viewers traversing the adjacent highway spaghetti and a point of focus for residential viewers from afar. The design team conducted a series of technical, spatial, and budgeting exercises to implement the final concept in 2023.
Creating luminous color and dynamic displays in the public realm is a Leni Schwendinger Light Projects specialty.
KEY DESIGN TIP
Implementation for urban scale, high concept projects involves a range of creative and practical processes starting with a feasible imaginary. Fast forward to installation, which requires vigilant cross-disciplinary teams, accurate budgeting, and specification of technical (products and systems. For compelling light artforms, after installation, the project is thrust back into the realm of the imagination…artist and designers collaborating with electricians to focus luminaires, and the commissioning programmer to create a sequential composition. Finally, a public realm project may require several approvals.
Photos: Mikaela Baird upLIGHT
DESIGNED 2021 | OPENED 2023
During the evening hours, the Queens Parking Garage reflects ever-changing hues extrapolated from the scattered light effect associated with butterfly wings and bird feathers. The sequence plays in a loop from sunset until midnight.
This programmed composition is bookended by static white to provide “white space on the page.” Bookending provides a beginning and end to focus the viewer’s attention on the colorful, dynamic layers of light in between.
The owner requested a slow transformation of color. This video sample is accelerated for your screen viewing.
Location: Parking Garage and Community Center, Queens, New York City
Owner: NYC Department of Transportation
Architects: Urbahn Architects, Marvel Design
Lighting Design: Leni Schwendinger Light Projects